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Red-Wine Braised Brisket with Pearl Onions and Star Anise

Servings: 6 to 8

The sweet, subtle flavor of star anise gives this comforting braise an exotic twist. I like to season the brisket with a fragrant spice rub a day before braising so that the intense flavors work their way into the meat. To really amp up the flavor of the brisket, broil it to a deep caramel color before you braise it. For the braising liquid, use an assertive red wine, such as Zinfandel or Syrah.


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 5 lb. beef brisket (preferably flat cut), trimmed of large patches of fat
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. peeled pearl onions, preferably red (about 3-1/4 cups)
  • 4 ribs celery, cut on the bias into ½-inch pieces (about 2-3/4 cups)
  • 1 lb. parsnips (about 3 large), peeled and cut on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1-1/2 cups red wine, preferably Zinfandel or Syrah
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 pod star anise
  • 1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar


  • In a small bowl, mix 4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper with the sugar and cumin. Put the meat on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, brush 1 Tbs. of the oil on the brisket, then rub the spices onto both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 and up to 24 hours.
  • Position a rack in the top of the oven, and heat the broiler. In a large bowl, toss the onions with 1 Tbs. of the oil and 1 tsp. salt. Put the brisket on a broiler pan, and scatter the onions all around. Broil until the brisket and onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan, flip the meat over, and broil the other side until browned, about 2 minutes more. (Broilers can vary in strength, so stay close to the oven, and check on the browning often.)
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. Heat a Dutch oven (7-1/4 quarts or larger) over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, the celery, and parsnips, and cook, stirring, until the parsnips soften and brown in places, about 9 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost completely evaporates, about 6 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomato paste, honey, bay leaves, and star anise, and bring to a boil. Add the brisket, onions, and any accumulated juices to the pot. Cover and transfer to the oven.
  • Roast, turning the brisket every 30 minutes, until the beef is tender, about 3 hours total. Transfer the beef to a carving board, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, skim the fat from the cooking liquid. Transfer the liquid to a gravy boat, stir in the vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, thinly slice the brisket, arrange on a platter with the vegetables, and top with the sauce. Serve, passing the remaining sauce at the table.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • highlyfavored | 12/05/2021

    This Brisket was so delicious when it first came out of the oven. But it dried out real fast. And I didn't have any juice left to make a gravy. What did I do wrong?

  • hjbp | 12/06/2018

    user-5451760 The recipe for the carrots is listed separately. It's a side dish. Honey-Glazed Rainbow Carrots with Cinnamon and Cumin

  • user-5451760 | 12/03/2018

    There are carrots in the photograph but they are not in the list of ingredients. How many carrots and when do you add them?

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